Claire Palfreyman Studio delivers simply beautiful, low maintenance gardens that welcome you home and give you the space to relax and enjoy nature up close.
Based in the Auvergne region of France, we love creating a wide range of gardens, from intimate town courtyards to larger modern country properties whether in France, the UK, Europe or beyond.
We design with nature in mind, creating beautiful, sustainable, biodiverse gardens that sit comfortably in their surroundings. Where possible we plant 'dry' gardens, that is without any irrigation system, as we find that with the right plant in the right place and good soil preparation, the plants will be healthier. Where appropriate we also like to reuse and repurpose materials from the existing site to avoid waste, additional costs and excessive environmental impact.
Inspiration comes from many sources, from being outside observing plants and insects in the wild, to design, art and architecture. Influences from the gardening world include Beth Chatto, Dan Pearson, Gilles Clément and his idea of the 'jardin en mouvement' and the inspirational plantsman and author Olivier Filippi - his book 'Alternatives au gazon' is invaluable.
Claire grew up in the remote Scottish borders, her days spent exploring outdoors in all weathers. She developed a deep connection to the natural world and an understanding that nature doesn't stay still, the landscape and the plants change with each year that passes.
Study and work took her to Edinburgh, Paris then London, where she stayed for 30 years working as a journalist, an award-winning ceramicist and art teacher. Claire has had her own gardens in London and France for over 10 years. A move to France full time persuaded Claire to pursue her love of plants and study for a diploma with the Oxford College of Garden Design.
Claire's journey as an artist and sculptor is evident in her work. In creating her natural gardens, she combines her vision and artistic understanding of space with the rigour, skills of local craftsmen and professional landscape construction teams, engineers and specialist nurseries.